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The Little Owl's Gravy Meatball Sliders


By Chef & Owner Joey Campanaro 

 (Serves 12)


  • 1 lb. ground beef           
  • 1 lb. ground pork      
  • 1 lb. ground veal
  •  1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 large eggs
  •  l ½ cup Warm water 
  •  2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/4 oz. fresh yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oils
  • 4 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 bulbs of whole roasted garlic
  • 1 chopped Spanish onion
  • 1/4 chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley (reserve 1 Tbsp.
    of chopped parsley)
  • 1 # 10 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seed
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for cooking
  • Salt/pepper 


For the dough/buns:

In an electric mixing bowl using the
hook attachment, mix the warm water, yeast, olive oil and molasses.
Add the flour and the salt. The dough will become a wet mixture but
will remain a little sticky. Remove the dough onto a floured clean surface
and gently knead into a soft ball. Place the dough in a mixing bowl
brushed with olive oil and cover. Store in a warm humid area for 30
minutes or until the dough rises to double its size.

Wrap 2 bulbs of whole garlic in aluminum
foil and roast in a medium heat oven until very soft. Squeeze the whole
bulbs of garlic to release the soft interior. Slightly chop the roasted
garlic until it resembles a puree. Portion the dough into 1 inch round
balls and knead in the roasted garlic while doing so. Place the prepared
portioned raw dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
approximately 2 inches apart. Cover with plastic and allow the dough
balls to re rise again. After 20 minutes spray the raw dough balls with
cold water, sprinkle with a pinch of the freshly grated pecorino, salt
and pepper and bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

For the meatballs:

Mix the ground meat together with the
cheese (reserve a pinch for garnish), eggs, bread crumbs, and three
quarters of the amount of chopped parsley, cold water, salt and pepper.
Roll the balls to same shape as the buns. In a large shallow sauce pot
heat the vegetable oil. Pan Fry the meat balls until thoroughly browned.
Remove the meat balls and add to the same pan, the chopped Spanish onion,
chopped fresh garlic, basil, and parsley and fennel seed. Cook together
for 5-8 minutes until the vegetables brown slightly. Add the can of
tomatoes and using the can fill half way with water and add the water
to the sauce. Cook the sauce 30 minutes, pass through a food mill and
continue cooking. Add the meatballs back to the sauce and cook the meat
balls in the sauce for an additional 30 minutes.

Cut the baked garlic buns in half and
toast the cut side. Top the meatballs with grated pecorino and chopped
parsley and reheat to melt the cheese. Assemble the sliders and use
a skewer to keep them from sliding all over the place.  You can
also use some fresh arugula leaves under the sliders for color garnish
and to keep them from sliding all over the place. 

Address: 90 Bedford St., at Grove St.

Phone: (212)741-4965